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Constituency Watch: Tambaram | Traditional rivals go at it again on civic issues

DMK’s incumbent MLA S.R. Raja will be contesting against the AIADMK’s T.K.M. Chinnayya for the fourth time

In the Tambaram Assembly constituency, the battle will be between traditional, long- time rivals belonging to the key Dravidian parties — the AIADMK and the DMK. The fight is believed to be essentially between these two candidates, though many more are in the fray. The incumbent MLA S.R. Raja of the DMK will lock horns, for the fourth time, with former Minister and MLA T.K.M. Chinnayya of the AIADMK.

The constituency consists of the Tambaram and Sembakkam municipalities; Chitlapakkam, Madambakkam, Perungalathur and Peerkankaranai town panchayats; and Mudichur, Agaramthen, Thiruvancheri and Madurapakkam village panchayats.

 

While residents in the constituency are happy with the progress of various infrastructure works, those coming under Tambaram municipality complain about the delay in the completion of the underground drainage system, which has been dragging on for more than a decade. Some also said the road condition in the municipality was bad due to the execution of the drainage work.

The residents of Mudichur panchayat rue the State government’s failure to issue pattas to the residents of Indira Nagar. The locality, developed by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board, has not been provided with patta for more than 35 years. P. Damodaran, former chairman of the Mudichur panchayat and office-bearer of the Federation of Mudichur Residents’ Welfare Association, wanted the long-delayed expansion of the Mudichur Main Road to be executed for easing traffic congestion, in addition to the construction of stormwater drains to prevent flooding.

Residents credit Mr. Raja, along with Sriperumbudur MP T.R. Baalu, for getting the third railway terminal in the city to Tambaram. They believe the development of the third railway terminal has helped in Tambaram becoming a multi-modal transport hub, helping the cause of several local businesses.

Mr. Raja, who was successfully elected in 2006 and 2016 but lost to Mr. Chinnayya in 2011, said the successful completion of the integrated stormwater drain project helped in preventing floods in West Tambaram, Perungalathur and Peerkankaranai.

He said funds were allotted for the construction of community halls in Mudichur, Madurapakkam, and Agaram villages. He has also given a push to education with the construction of public libraries in Tambaram, Chitlapakkam and Madambakkam. Funds had also been allotted to improve crematoria in Peerkankaranai and Chitalpakkam and the work had started, he added.

DMK candidate Mr. Raja, having cut his teeth in business before entering politics, said the development of Tambaram into a business centre had resulted in encroachments, causing traffic bottlenecks in several areas. He also said the widening of the Mudichur Main Road was pending for a long time and would be taken up if he was elected again.

The residents of Chitlapakkam, which comes under the town panchayat, said they were facing hardship due to the poor drinking water supply. They want Chitlapakkam to be merged with the Greater Chennai Corporation and include the locality under the Tambaram-Pallavaram-Pammal Water Scheme to solve the issue.

L. Sundararaman, president, Chitlapakkam Muthulakshmi Nagar Welfare Association, said at present the residents were provided with water from Palar but the supply remained sloppy, particularly during summer. Citing the drainage work in Tambaram municipality, he wants a similar scheme to be taken up in Chitlapakkam, which had become a popular residential area because of its proximity to the Sanatorium railway station.

The residents of east Tambaram, comprising Rajakilpakkam, Madambakkam, and Selaiyur have their own set of grievances, such as widening of the Rajakilpakkam Main Road leading to Agaram, construction of a flyover to ease traffic at the Kamarajapuram junction, electrification of the Madambakkam crematorium and repairing of several roads in Rajakilpakkam, damaged in last year’s heavy rain.

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